The internet has paved the way for many industries to expand their business and gain attraction. Not many people think of medical practice as a part of this, but it is. If you want to start your medical practice online, this article is for you. Telehealth, or online health-based apps, allow doctors to treat their patients virtually.
When it comes to virtual treatments, it is comparatively much more convenient for patients to get treated online without having to travel much. Ever since the Covid 19 outbreak, there has been a rise in patients choosing to get treated online rather than physically because it also helps with social distancing. Doctors, too, have shifted their practice from offline to online, and they have been able to treat many more patients as a result.
Advantages of online medicine practice
- The patients can choose doctors from all over the country rather than relying on someone closer to them. Hence it gives them much more choices.
- This reduces the costs hugely for doctors. It also minimizes the clinic’s administrative expenses of hiring front desk staff and maintaining a waiting room.
- Patients can avail of consultation any time of the day. They can also reduce their time and costs by consulting doctors over video calls, phone calls, or chat.
- Doctors get the freedom to practice medicine anytime and from anywhere. New practitioners can also start their practice individually without the support of a private or public hospital.
While there are many benefits to online medical practices for doctors and patients, there are two sides to every coin. Let’s talk about a few disadvantages. When it comes to emergencies, online medical consultations are not very useful. Additionally, there is a need for physical assistance in cases of physical injuries like cuts, accidents, etc.
There is also the issue of quality evaluation when it comes to online practice. Patients don’t have many ways to evaluate the trustworthiness and reliability of an online healthcare practitioner.
Ways to start your online medical practice
We have discussed how this could be a better option for various medical practitioners. There are ways in which you can start your medical practice online. The internet offers a variety of options with which you can grow your practice as a doctor. Many websites online allow you to register yourself as a medical practitioner, Practo being one of them. You have to go through the registration process and provide your medical license and important documents. A screening process takes place, qualifying you as a consultant on their website. If you want to start an online medical practice, you can also set up your clinic through social media and promote it through marketing. This will help you reach out to people and expand your practice.
A few websites allow you to register yourself on their platform. These include:
- Tata Health
- Aayu app
Online medical consultation sites available in India
Let’s talk about some of the already established medical consultation websites to better understand how online medical practice works.
- Icliniq is a virtual hospital that is helping a vast number of patients every day through its consultancy services. It has a network of more than 600 doctors, with new practitioners registering with them every day.
- Medanta.org is known to be one of India’s largest multi-specialty online consultancies. All the patient is required to do is upload their medical reports, consult the doctor through video conference at the time convenient to them, and then assess the consultation given by the doctors.
- Webhealthcentre.com is another online consultancy facility that has some of the best medical institutions and doctors in the country. Patients have to send in their medical queries through the website, and a suitable doctor is assigned to them accordingly. This website provides services free of cost.
- Icliniccare.com is an online website that provides 24 hours’ services. They have collaborations with Fortis, Global hospitals, and Enhance clinics, to name a few. They provide services through video and web chat consultancy.
- Practo is a huge consultancy website that provides information about all illnesses along with online consultancy. New doctors can also register themselves on the website and sign up as online consultants to help cure patients.
Guidelines to be followed to practice online medicine in India
A few guidelines have been set to practice online medicine for doctors in India.
- The first element is that there should be no anonymity between the patient and the doctor. They both should know each other’s identities. There should be proper authentication of the two, and both should know the other’s information and credentials.
- The condition or the case of every patient could be different. The consultant should provide the same amount of care no matter what the patient’s problem is. There should be no discrimination when it comes to the consultancy being provided by the doctor.
- The consent of any patient is essential for any telemedicine consultation. There can be two types of consent provided by the patient – implied or explicit, depending on the situation. If the patient initiates the consultation, then it is implied that the consent has been granted. However, if the doctor initiates the consultation, then the patient will have to give explicit consent.
- There needs to be data privacy. There are a few patients that would appreciate their diagnosis to be private. The doctor should respect their privacy and hold their data. This is an important guideline for any consultant that wants to start their online medical practice.
With all the points covered above, it is clear that many doctors would now like to take their medical practice online or would like to start their medical journey through online modes. The points mentioned are the basic requirements to keep in mind before starting.
In conclusion, with everything in the world slowly moving towards online modes, the healthcare sector is also trying to choose this route. Hence, the online medical practice business is growing and gaining traction by the day. It is more convenient, safer, and a better way of consulting a wide variety of doctors with different levels of expertise.
A growing number of patients would prefer this mode of consultancy depending on their illness. Online medical consultancies also collaborate with the best medical institutions and provide the patients services by the best doctors. But whether this model will take off or is here only for the pandemic is yet to be seen.